TODAY the Oxford Mail urges our readers to get their running shoes on for a good cause.

The paper has teamed up with Oxford Children’s Hospital in a bid to get as many people as possible to enter the 2010 OX5Run.

Organisers expect more than 1,000 runners to enter the event, which is expected to raise £65,000 for the hospital.

All proceeds will be spent on toys and games and new equipment requested by nursing staff.

This year’s five-mile run around the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock was the most successful to date, with more than 800 runners raising £57,000.

Organisers want to do even better in 2010, and are appealing for individual runners and business teams to come forward so they can get at least 1,000 people taking part on Sunday, April 18.

Sarah Vaccari, a spokesman for the children’s hospital, which is part of the West Wing of the John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington, said her three-year-old daughter Rosa was living a normal life after having open-heart surgery in May.

Ms Vaccari, from Benson near Wallingford, added: “When Rosa is asked about her time in the children’s hospital, she talks very happily about all the lovely play areas and toys, which were paid for through donations.”

For the second year running, the race is being jointly sponsored by recruitment consultants Allen Associates and Motorworld.

Rob Allen, of Allen Associates, said: “I ran last year and I will definitely be running again this year, despite a slight problem with my achilles tendon.

“Lots of staff from our office took part and it was great for team-building. However, in April our team might be slightly depleted because we have three pregnant women in the office.”

The hospital’s staff nurse Lora Shorter is planning to run the race with colleagues Nicola Hughes and Kerrie Wiggins.

Ms Shorter, 23, from Wantage, said: “Last year I ran as part of a team from Tom’s Ward and we raised £1,000.

“I hope we can do the same again in 2010 because the toys and equipment the money can buy makes a real difference to the children.”

It costs £10 to enter the race if you enter before the day, or you can pay £12.50 to enter on the day.

* See the Oxford Mail later this week for details of how to enter the race.